It’s that time of the year again the footballing season is all but done, what remains is arguably the biggest game in World Football. Juventus take on holders Real Madrid in this season’s UEFA Champions League final, the Italian giants have made it to yet another final, their second in three years. Madrid on the other hand have got themselves into the finals once again and would love to do a repeat of the previous season’s finale result.
The coming Saturday in Cardiff will see history of some sort being made, no matter what the result. The game already promises to be a treat for the neutrals and the facts and figures leading into the game only can only fuel the encounter at the very least. A Juventus win on Saturday would make them only the ninth club in the world to win a treble and only the second Italian side after Inter to do so. Having missed the opportunity two years ago against an unstoppable Barcelona side in Berlin, the bianconeri would be eager to achieve the feat after successfully conquering both the League and Cup competitions in Italy in May.
Their opponents meanwhile are in the finals for the second straight year and are at the cusp of achieving something massive themselves. It’s been a wonderful season for the blancos, winning a record thirty third title and a first in five years, the whites from Madrid will now be looking to get their hands on back to back Champions League titles. A win on Saturday would make them the first team since AC Milan who achieved the same feat back in 1989 and 1990 winning the then European Cup. A win would also make Real the first side to lift back to back Champions League in the modern era, something’s that’s been condemned as a curse of some sort. A curse that has seen that has seen even the best of the lot fall coming to the final hurdle.
A rare feat awaits Madrid’s Gareth Bale as he could join an exclusive list of players to have lifted the prestigious club trophy in the city of their birth. Bale who was born in Cardiff could join the likes of Anelka, Di Livio, Stepney and Munoz in this rare extraordinary list. Bale forms a part of one the most threatening attacking trios in World football popularly known as the ‘BBC’, standing for Bale, Benzema and Cristiano. Juventus’ hopes of winning the trophy would largely depend on how they defend against the Madrid attacks and a good chunk of that will fall upon their legendary captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who himself would be looking to break the record of the oldest player to win the trophy, the record of which is currently held by his former national teammate Paolo Maldini. Buffon who will be 39 years, 126 days old on the day of the final will surpass Maldini, should he captain the club from Turin to glory at the National Stadium of Wales.
The match will be played under a closed roof in the National Stadium in Cardiff, it’s the first time that a game of this magnitude will be played under closed roof. Security was pretty much the main reason why the decision took place however this could also be a special occasion for the two sets of fans who’ll watch the game at the stadium as the roof will surly amplify the atmosphere within the stadium. A unique setting to a game that already has developed a very chess like atmosphere around the coaches and the two sets of players.
A lot at stake in Cardiff on Saturday, no wonder they call this the biggest game of the season. A fixture that seems tough to predict from the outside but one gets a feeling that surely it’ll be the team with the best defense that’ll win the game and perhaps there’s a thing or two coming from one of the not so popular men on the pitch which will eventually decide the fate of this humungous fixture. Promises to be a great game this!